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Q:If you had $300 for either a Cam or 1 semester Film School

Posted: Mon, 24th Jul 2006, 6:55pm

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marcus u

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...what would you choose.

Pretending that you were already a damn good writer, with a bunch of ideas and a home computer that can do all you editing on anyways?


thanks,
Marcus:)
Posted: Mon, 24th Jul 2006, 7:01pm

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destron

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What's the other option? What context?
Posted: Mon, 24th Jul 2006, 7:21pm

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Garfield Street

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the choices are either

A Camcorder

or

1 Semester of Film School

right?

I'd say right away: SCHOOL! You won't be able to use that camcorder to the highest ability till you go and learn a little. If I could go and learn at a Film School I would pack my bags right now!

Of course it is your decision. All I gave was what I would do in your shoes. By all means, don't be forced to go to a Film School if you really want that camcorder! razz
Posted: Mon, 24th Jul 2006, 7:25pm

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destron

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That's a tough decision, I'd probably get the camera, because I've heard that Film School isn't very good, and I'm only 14! I don't think I could get into Film School at that age! razz
Posted: Mon, 24th Jul 2006, 7:27pm

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Garrison

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I think it would depend on how much you know now about filmmaking. If you know zero, then I'd go with school. If you know "enough" (whatever that means-to each his own), then getting the camera and putting in some experience may be the way.
Posted: Mon, 24th Jul 2006, 7:55pm

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Gnome326

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$300 won't get you that good of a camera. Anyways, if you don't have much experience, film school might be good. Plus you get to meet some people with the same interest of film making as you, which could help assemble a team to produce a movie.
Posted: Mon, 24th Jul 2006, 8:14pm

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Venger

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I'd get a camera. Go out and shoot stuff. Shoot anything. NOTHING beats experience.
Posted: Mon, 24th Jul 2006, 8:15pm

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destron

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Gnome326 wrote:

$300 won't get you that good of a camera.
I think that's the point. See, if you can't make a good movie with a $300 camera but you can with thousands of dollars worth of equipment, then obviously you're relying on tools to make your films. If you can't make good films with either then you (most likely) downright suck at making films, and that's why you need experience, it will make you better at it. I, unfortunately, fall into the latter category. Venger is right. Also, Bryce007 said this:
For the record, People would be better filmmakers if

1. they were given a simple cheap walmart DV Camcorder.

2. They went to barnes and noble, borders or whatever book store they have and read every book they can get they're hands on (and take the advice given with a grain of salt)

3. Make as many films as they can and learn from they're mistakes, trying out everything they can and continually attempt to do better than the last try no matter what the cost.

4. skip film school
I completely agree with him.
Posted: Mon, 24th Jul 2006, 8:55pm

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Garfield Street

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Don't usual Film School have tons of hands-on training?

If not you have changed my mind!
Posted: Mon, 24th Jul 2006, 8:57pm

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destron

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Yes, but I'm pretty sure they don't round up a few students, give them a $300 camera and say "Here. Go make a film."
Posted: Mon, 24th Jul 2006, 9:02pm

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Garfield Street

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My film class did.

Hmm. I was thinking of going to the New York Film Academy though. Check em out. Maybe the more expensive schools do have that kind of hands-on experience.

www.nyfa.com
Posted: Mon, 24th Jul 2006, 9:06pm

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destron

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Eep. redface
I guess I should've kept my mouth shut... neutral
Posted: Mon, 24th Jul 2006, 9:11pm

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Garfield Street

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No! I didn't want to keep your mouth shut! razz

I was just was worried that I'd pay for that film school and then I find out it's crap! doh haha

That's the problem though. If only the expensive schools have hands-on experience I would get the camcorder too! biggrin
Posted: Mon, 24th Jul 2006, 9:27pm

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Arktic

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I happen to disagree with...

For the record, People would be better filmmakers if

1. they were given a simple cheap walmart DV Camcorder.

2. They went to barnes and noble, borders or whatever book store they have and read every book they can get they're hands on (and take the advice given with a grain of salt)

3. Make as many films as they can and learn from they're mistakes, trying out everything they can and continually attempt to do better than the last try no matter what the cost.

4. skip film school
... more specifically number four.

I imagine Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Brian Singer, George Lucas, John McTiernan, and a whole host of other directors might well disagree too. That's not even taking into account all the accredited cinematographers and such who started out in filmschool.

Sure, filmschool isn't for everyone, and not everyone who attends will become a superstar director - but to dismiss it flat like that is a little naive, imho.

I'd reccomend the course over the camera - a $300 camera will be a good learning experience, but if you don't have a solid basis to ground your newfound experience in, you might learn bad habbits and such. Remember, practice makes permenant - not perfect.

Cheers,
Arktic.
Posted: Mon, 24th Jul 2006, 9:40pm

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marcus u

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There is one tremendously important issue I forgot to stress.

Were talking about a semester at a Junior College.

NOT USC or UCLA!!!

Yikes if it was anything close to that duh that would be a no brainer and I'd be in class right now!

See this question is because the next semester is starting. Years ago I took part one of the class.

The reason I didn't continue was the weirdness of EVERYONE in the class turning in a project that they did entirely on their own home equipment anyways? Yikes! What is up with that!

I mean I felt weird at the end of class. I just looked around and was like,

"Ok, I had to write, edit, direct, manage lighting, sound etc... and the gear was all other students they let me borrow???"

UGH! For that type of gain I could have umm lets see, bought the cheapest beast cam at circuit city, written, directed, etc. the whole F'n thing myself on my own and probably done a better job than to have dealt with the teens who were angry that they didn't get their stuff together to write a script worth a damn in time.

So my reluctance or unsureness whatever comes from a semester of experience.

I don't want to be like, "Oh god, here I am needed to borrow a cheap a-- cam to do a production that I could have done on my F'n own, better?"

So thats what this question was really all about.

Junior College, or Cheap Cam???

Love,
You brother in celluloid,
~Marcus:)
Posted: Mon, 24th Jul 2006, 10:01pm

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devilskater

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Film school means getting connections...so for 300 buck...i'd rather go to school at get to know people from the industry...and get connection than to get a cheap harldy non-working amateur cam ...

thats my opinion, but i am quite wasted at the moment...

cheers,
d.

p.s: love posting here, when i am waster wink wink wink
Posted: Mon, 24th Jul 2006, 10:37pm

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marcus u

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Yep thats the only thing that happened that one semester that was cool.

I met a few folks who were cool.

The attention i've seen some folks get with a cheap a-- cam and a youtube site with a clever video is pretty amazing though. Cam quality no so important for promotional stuff.

thanks and hope you feel better soon.

~Marcus:)

devilskater wrote:

Film school means getting connections...so for 300 buck...i'd rather go to school at get to know people from the industry...and get connection than to get a cheap harldy non-working amateur cam ...

thats my opinion, but i am quite wasted at the moment...

cheers,
d.

p.s: love posting here, when i am waster wink wink wink
Posted: Mon, 24th Jul 2006, 11:35pm

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destron

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Can you even get into film school for 300 bucks? Seems like it would be a lot more than that...
Posted: Mon, 24th Jul 2006, 11:48pm

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Garfield Street

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Remember its only a semester also!
Posted: Tue, 25th Jul 2006, 12:14am

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marcus u

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Hmm, could you expand on this. Its only a semester so...

Thanks,
~Marcus:)

Garfield Street wrote:

Remember its only a semester also!
Posted: Tue, 25th Jul 2006, 12:16am

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destron

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Wait... how long's a semester? 3 months?
Posted: Tue, 25th Jul 2006, 1:23am

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Garfield Street

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Yeah, About 3 months.
Posted: Tue, 25th Jul 2006, 1:39am

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destron

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I think it would cost more than $100 a month -- maybe I'm full of s--- but that seems a little low... schools make you pay through the nose nowadays.
Posted: Tue, 25th Jul 2006, 2:04am

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Garfield Street

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Yep nowadays ye old wiper snappers take all of our money to go to those fancy pant schools of yours! mad

lol
Posted: Tue, 25th Jul 2006, 3:02am

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epeterson

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better yet save your money and do both
Posted: Tue, 25th Jul 2006, 3:38am

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ben3308

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marcus u is talking about a small, semester-long moviemaking class at a local Junior College, not anywhere near a film school. In these kinds of programs, you're at best using a 3CCD camera, most likely just some handycam from someone in the class like you said.

Buy the camera. Why pay to have to deal with other people and their stuff when you can do it all your own?

Arktic said "practice makes permanent (rather, he misspelled it "permenant"). Well I disagree. I learned through experience with my 300 dollar camera how to frame correctly with the rule of thirds and the 180 degree rule. I also naturally picked up when I had too much head or foot space, and how to even out my shots more. I say practice makes better. With moviemaking there's always something new to learn as you go on. Nothing is permanent.
Posted: Tue, 25th Jul 2006, 8:04am

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Arktic

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Ben I see what you're saying, but for example you said you learned through experience the 'rule of thirds'... but you must have read or heard from someone what the 'rule of thirds' was, or you wouldn't know what it was called. So if you're a rank beginner at filmmaking, practicing framing shots won't do you any good, as you'll have no idea how to frame up properly.

Practice on it's own doesn't make you inherantly a better filmmaker. All practicing does is makes you better at that which you are practicing - if you're practicing the wrong things, you won't be a better filmmaker at the end of it.

For example, a guy I know who is one of the best directors of single camera material now, had some really bad habbits when I first met him. He had started off with no proper training about how to shoot a movie, and he just went out and learned from experience. Sure, he did improve at what he was doing, but he had some odd ways of doing things, that really weren't beneficial to shooting well (for example, instead of doing a bunch of shots then doing the reverses, he allways did one shot then it's reverse then did another shot and it's reverse etc, which wastes a lot of time). It's taken two years to 'unlearn' those bad habbits, and he's a much better filmmaker because of it. But the only way he learned not to do those things was because he was being taught by industry professionals.

As I say, if you have nothing to base your experiences on, you'll pick up bad habbits - and practice will make them permanent, or at least, make them difficult to 'unlearn'.

Cheers,
Arktic.
Posted: Tue, 25th Jul 2006, 8:53am

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03ruby

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dude film school all the way!
ive learnt so much in one semester of uni about film both technical and theory.

The other option is to buy the camera get down the libary and read aload of books.

I think the first option would be more fun! biggrin
Posted: Tue, 25th Jul 2006, 9:05am

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Bryce007

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*harsh word* Film school. Go pursue it yourself and make it happen. Also read my post in the "Sollthars filmmaking info" thread. It's the best advice I can give.
Posted: Tue, 25th Jul 2006, 9:06am

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Simon K Jones

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It depends entirely on the film school. If it looks good, go for it. Otherwise, don't. smile Film school can be either hugely rewarding and useful, or a total waste of time. Also check out whether it's pure theory or practical stuff - and don't dismiss it if it's theory, as that has its place too.
Posted: Tue, 25th Jul 2006, 8:13pm

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JimJohnD

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I'd get the camera. There are plenty of great books like "Film Directing Shot By Shot" by Steven Katz

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&isbn=0941188108&TXT=Y&itm=1

If you are only looking at 3 months of "Film School 101" then you would get as much out of reading the book and watching all of your DVDs with the commentary track turned on!!!smile

At least with a camera you can go through the entire production cycle from getting your shots, editing, scoring and finally authoring. To get really good you will have to spend time on each area. This will take more time than school will supply. In short, you will need the tools in hand.
Posted: Tue, 25th Jul 2006, 8:21pm

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sfbmovieco

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Goto school and hook up with people and maybe they will have a camera that you can use together and borrow. Nothing beats meeting other people interested in filmmaking. I mean, so you buy a new 300 camera...Now what? You can't shoot by yourself. Meeting those people will help, then save up another 300 and there you go.

I agree with Arktic.

Practice does NOT make perfect.

Perfect practice makes perfect.